As your business grows, you will discover that it is far more profitable to earn repeat sales from existing customers than it is to pursue new ones. Of course you can't slack off in terms of finding new prospects. But as you align your energies with the priority of satisfying existing customers, your job will become easier and repeat sales will increase.
Here are five strategies to encourage repeat sales:
1. Focus on what customers get from you.
Rather than focusing on what you want (a sale), focus on what your customer wants from you (a product or service that makes their life better). Whether you use an email, a phone call, or a FaceBook status update, focus on servicing the wants of the people who buy from you most.
To think about this from a practical perspective, do things like provide quick feedback when an existing customer asks a question. Ask existing customers what they want more of, and then position yourself to deliver it. The more committed you are to responding to existing customers, the more committed they are to continuing to buy from you — and to telling their friends about you.
2. Give something extra.
People love it when their order contains those “little extra unexpected somethings.” They can take a variety of forms: a sample of a new product you're testing, a coupon for additional purchases within a certain time frame, a handwritten note, a complimentary consultation, or a free e-book just for them.
3. Create more content.
OK, don't throw anything at me. Let's be honest: content drives lead generation, and lead generation drives sales, and you need to sell your products. Here are a few examples of what some IBN members do to create the kind of content that leads to sales:
Joan Morais offers complimentary e-recipes at her website to complement existing products that are not free. They are colorful and fun, and they show customers that Joan is always thinking about them.
Emily Caswell of GCDSpa, who customizes bath and body products for special occasions, uses FaceBook to share pictures of items associated with special occasions. Pictures of exquisite wedding cakes, baby showers, and holiday party cookies remind people of the benefits of customizing items for life's special events. When a FaceBook fan wants to make an event really special, she'll be more inclined to remember Emily.
Dawn Fitch at Pooka Pure and Simple posts circulars on FaceBook — the kind that are resemble what we receive in the mail from local pharmacies. The first time she did so, she didn't think much of it, but customers responded in droves, coming to her FaceBook Page and asking, “When is the next circular coming out?” Dawn had no plans after Circular No. 1, but when the people who bought products based on Circular No.1 assked for another circular, guess what she did? That's right … more circulars.
4. Always follow up.
“The fortune is in the follow up.”
When it comes to business, so many of us reach out once, make a connection, and then pat ourselves on the back for putting ourselves out there. But if you have not reached out 3, 4, 5, 6, even 7 times — yes, to the same customer — you really haven't put yourself out there much at all.
This is where things like online newsletters come in handy. By reaching out every week to thousands of people at the same time, you are building the kind of continuity that leads organically to repeat sales.
And of course, as great as newsletters are, don't forget to also incorporate phone calls, personal notes and even text messages when your customers welcome them.
What strategies do you use to encourage repeat sales? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments below.